The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Red-legged seriema recovers after treatment at the Dick Vet

A red-legged seriema, whose life was threatened after swallowing a metal screw, is back on her feet thanks to cutting-edge hospital equipment and quick-thinking vets.

Elvis – a red-legged seriema
Elvis – a red-legged seriema

Elvis – a red-legged seriema – was brought to a specialist facility after her keepers at Blair Drummond Safari Park noticed that she was quiet and struggling to eat.

Innovative equipment and expertise helped vets to spot and remove the screw quickly, allowing Elvis to get back to normal life almost immediately.


Red-legged seriemas are native to South America and stand around a metre tall, thanks to their distinctive spindly legs.

After noticing that Elvis was lethargic, her keepers swiftly called in expert help from the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

CT scan

On arrival at the Hospital for Small Animals at the University of Edinburgh, Elvis was seen by the Dick Vet Rabbit and Exotic Practice, who teamed up with experts in internal medicine to assess the bird. 

Working together, they tested Elvis’ blood and referred her to colleagues for a high-powered CT scan, which showed a picture of a metal screw in her stomach.

Back to health

Elvis was quickly sent to a dedicated in-house unit where specialist vets used a miniaturised camera to spot the screw inside her stomach and remove it without the need for invasive surgery.

Elvis was back eating normally at home in Blair Drummond the next day.


Animal experts say that red-legged seriemas are inquisitive and often peck at foreign objects.

Swallowing items such as screws can be very harmful to their health, causing poisoning or even tearing of the intestines.

Elvis was very poorly when she came to us. Thanks to our advanced scanning equipment and dedicated team of experts working across departments we were able to rapidly spot what was wrong. We are delighted that Elvis has left the building and has returned safely to Blair Drummond.

Dr Bronwyn KoterwasUniversity of Edinburgh


It is imperative that when any of our animals are sick that they are seen by vets with expertise and the experience necessary to treat the species and we are very fortunate that the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is only a short drive away. 

Sheila WalkerBlair Drummond Safari Park